Days of Change

The Bacon of Religious Ideology

March 16, 2015
1 Comment

For the last few days, I’ve been limited most of my eating to toast and other bread products. I was also avoiding meats. I finally got a Reuben sandwich from Arby’s today as a St. Patrick’s Day nod and I was thinking about meats.

Arby’s current slogan is “We Have the Meats.” They have a number of different products from a half-dozen different sources. Unlike the generic term “protein” used by foodies now, Arby’s even refers to their Fish Sandwich as “ocean meat.” In some ways, the greatest meat of them all is bacon, otherwise known as the vegetarian killer.

Articles have been written for years about the power of bacon to convert meat-avoiders back to meat eaters. When people ease into vegetarianism, the last meat they eat is probably chicken. Chicken is much less likely to entice someone back since it can be made bland and unpalatable pretty easily. It’s a step away from eating bean curd.

This is the answer for why otherwise sane people are turning to ISIS instead of more socially acceptable religious systems. You can rank religions on a spectrum of how mainstream and permissive they are. Some have few restrictions on personal behavior, others place rules on every aspect of daily life. Older religions had more influence that was eventually blunted by participatory government. The drawback to democratic rule is that the idiots around you run the government. In a theocracy, the rules are written by God, and you would expect Him to be smarter about most things.

I don’t like theocracies because they are ultimately run by people. People running the government are bad enough. Giving them divine authority is madness. At the same time, governments are showing increasing moral cowardice. They won’t propose grand ideas, they don’t trust the resourcefulness of their people and politicians are mainly interested in perpetuating their own existence.

Bacon, like fundamentalism, is honest. Bacon can’t be faked and all vegan bacon sucks ass. Religious fundamentalists put on little artifice. They hate who they hate and they welcome people to join them. If they don’t like you, they don’t coddle you and put you on the dole, they kill you. You don’t have to tell yourself you’re good enough and people like you, you’ll know the truth pretty fast.

The freedom to fail is about honesty. The front line of terrorism is evil, but it is pretty upfront about who should join. Bacon is nothing but goodness. That’s why the terrorists fear bacon.


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The Client List

March 15, 2015
3 Comments

I remember the days when e-mail was doled out by companies or organizations and you had to have a reason to get them. My first 2 e-mail addresses were .edu ones. Service sites like Yahoo started making them more common. I think my next e-mail address was from there. You can now get e-mail from many legitimate and dubious sources. You can also create your own e-mail server, something you can do for less than some paid e-mail services.

Either the Clinton “foundation” or the generic Clinton family empire created an e-mail server. This technology only requires a (leased) domain name, a computer with software and an internet connection. With that, a potential scandal was born. Of course, it’s one thing when Hillary Clinton has an e-mail address and only the recipients have a server-side copy. Someone I heard the other day brought up an even better point. How many people have Clinton e-mail addresses who worked at Hillary’s State Department?

Criminals and terrorists have used closed e-mail clients to convey messages without being tracked. For example, if you save a “draft” e-mail message and let other people log into that account, you can communicate and no data goes through e-mail servers. The way a-mail works, if you send an e-mail from your .com address to another address on the same .com domain, the data will likely not move outside the server. No real record of the e-mail will exist, except on that server.

This is why the server should have been removed. Now, it’s probably wiped cleaner than Lois Lerner’s computer.


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American As Apple Pi

March 14, 2015
3 Comments

The mathematical constant known as Pi is the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. Arguably, the radius is more important for calculations, but the property is the same. The value of Pi cannot be expressed in anything other than a value with an unending series of digits. Many constants are like this, but Pi is the most fundamental. Almost everyone will need to know how much of something to put around or inside a circle.

It is amusing that Americans came up with the idea of Pi Day on 3.14, the first three digits of the value. This year, 3/14/15 even matches the first five digits. The main purpose of these events isn’t just to give math nerds something to do. It also attempts to make math fun as a way to encourage kids to learn math better, or more, or harder, or something.

This is another American idea. These kind of passive motivators aren’t really effective. Flunking kids who don’t study math is also effective. Then again, Common Core has ruined math. Showing some kind of ineffective effort could get you credit even if you are wrong. Teaching someone to be good with numbers is complicated and requires long training, unless you are naturally good.

This is the real issue. Aptitude is something no one cares about anymore. We have browbeating parents who force their kids to get good grades by working the system and cramming unwanted information into their heads. There are also the underachievers who don’t work up to their potential. I was one of those. My parents were concerned when I didn’t do well, but were satisfied with the B’s and occasional A’s I got in school. It took me a few colleges to find the one where I cared enough to study and gets more A’s than B’s.

Some people care more about pie than Pi and I think that’s the way it should be.


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Talk Show Therapy

March 13, 2015
1 Comment

There have been several media moments in presidential history. There were the fireside chats where FDR started using the bully pulpit for regular propaganda. In the Kennedy / Nixon presidential race, their debate was the first televised. People watching on TV saw Kennedy as a winner, while radio listeners heard a more presidential Richard Nixon. Imagine if debates weren’t televised that year. Bill Clinton went on MTV and Aresenio Hall. Still, there’s nothing like the Obama era.

When technology made mass media possible, it became more important for leaders to be reflected well by it. In the case of bad leaders, the needed to control the media. Better leaders simply needed to manipulate it. In this country, much of the media are connected to liberals and Democrats. Seriously, key Obama people are related to owners and faces of major media and news operations.

Obama has leveraged his positive media outlets against ones critical of him to create a distorted aura of hope and change in this hopeless and intellectually stagnant administration. When real news gets too bad, he infuses his public image by going on talk shows featuring suck-ups and sympathizers. President Obama showed up on Jimmy Kimmel reading “mean” tweets. Michelle Obama will be on Ellen shaking her ass in one of those idiotic dance parties. They will then get a little boost in public approval, while Hillary Clinton’s approval sinks a little more.

This is why I prefer a Republican in the White House. Even if he is “just as bad,” at least the media will be adversarial enough to actually investigate that administration.


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Is Eric Holder Going To Persecute Some More?

March 12, 2015
1 Comment

Much like all law “enforcement” in the US, the prosecutors treat you like you are guilty, then can’t find enough evidence to get you convicted, then find you guilty of something just to justify their existence. In this case, instead of a pleaded down traffic citation, Eric Holder’s Department of Crime was unable to do anything legally to punish Ferguson, MO police for the shooting of a violent criminal.

Instead, the federal government used some numerology to show Black people are arrested more for crimes, regardless of if they commit more crimes. The city and the state have decided to clean house in order to get the feds off their back. Last night, these announcements culminated in the shooting of two police officers.

Unlike what Obama or Holder will tell the American people, the United States has the largest, non-corrupt police force in the world and the most fair justice system. For them, that means fundamentally flawed. For me, it means our justice system has no equal, but there’s always room for improvement, even among the best. That does not happen by convincing people that cops are racist and the justice system will let guilty whites go free for killing innocent Black people.

America voting for Obama twice may not prove that the citizens are not racist, but it sure proves they’re dumb.


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The Tax Bible Code

March 11, 2015
1 Comment

The Washington Post “fact checked” Ted Cruz’s claim that the US tax code is longer than The Bible. By fact checked, they tried to lib-splain that though true, there’s no value in comparing the size of tax regulations with that of the Holy Bible. They went on to compare a series of long fictional works with the apparent argument that books are long.

Here’s the problem. The Bible is a book that details the beginning of the earth, stories of faith, the life and death of Christ and also provides a set of commandments which is a basis of every legal system in Western Civilization. It is very much a book telling Christians where they come from and how they should live. The tax code is a series of intersecting and redundant rules about who gets taxed, how much they get taxed, which exceptions exists to counter the aforementioned rules and what the government can do to get money. It is also telling us how we should live. Yet, somehow, it takes more words than the Bible.

A sales tax or “Fair tax” law would be about one page. Pay a sales tax for whatever you buy. That’s it. Being the government, they would probably make that 20 pages, but it would still be well ahead of the current system. The length of the tax code is a measure of bang for the buck. There is more meaning in The Bible. Fiction novels are longer than the tax code because they are entertainment. No one reads the tax code for entertainment. It’s not that the tax code is too long, it’s that the code has no real justification for being that long.


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The Hillary Factor

March 10, 2015
1 Comment

The fact that anyone is “ready for Hillary” Clinton in 2016 is an indicator of how badly the Obama coalition has done over the past two administrations. Clinton was given a high-profile job with no real successes to keep her out of the way and make her culpable for the Obama administration’s misdeeds.

Neither Obama or his corporate masters are interested in Hillary because while she is equally bad, she doesn’t share the same goal of a diminished United States on the world stage. His successor is unclear. Elizabeth Warren has a lot of hatred for capitalism, but Joe Biden is a pretty reliable meat puppet.

The Clinton e-mail “scandal” doesn’t exactly blow me away for this reason. Hillary was going to face opposition within her own party, as well as the other one, and it was bound to come sooner or later. The GOP has been investigating for years now and nothing has come of it. Bill Clinton was hit with impeachment and thrived from it. Actions are more important than arguments.


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Out (Fire)foxed

March 9, 2015
1 Comment

Tech stories are coming out about how the Firefox Browser which has been around in various forms even before Internet Explorer, is on the way out. An article in Computer World mentions the competition and various new platforms which may be responsible. As someone who has used multiple browsers, I stopped using Firefox for one reason, the termination of Brendan Eich.

Eich, who invented Javascript and other programming, was named CEO of Mozilla, the group that markets the Firefox Browser. Stories on the web then found that he contributed to Proposition 8 in California, that banned gay marriage until courts intervened. The backlash of the online community led to his ouster. The backlash of the conservative and libertarian computer users disgusted by the lynch mob led to the downward slide in Firefox use across the web.

I liked Firefox because they have the most effective YouTube video downloaded, written as a third part app. My replacement isn’t quite as good. Still, I can feel some sense of accomplishment (although Pyrrhic) that I seem to have joined a number of other people who felt the same. Liberals who came after Eich with pitchforks and torches (yet still use Javascript because, well, they have no choice) showed no consumer loyalty.

Something I’ve found is that liberal “boycotts” are actually shaming campaigns and shakedowns because liberals are deadbeats with no money. Conservative boycotts and especially “buycotts” are much more effective because they see the world as a free market. Ideas and products are both valuable.


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Kingsman Movie Review

March 8, 2015
4 Comments

Before seeing the movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” I read the review from Breitbart.com which mentioned that it took on a lot of liberal sacred cows. I had no idea how many. Looking at the movie, I’d say that conservatives will like it, libertarians will love it and liberals will try to ignore it.

The premise is based loosely on a comic book called “The Secret Service” about MI-6 (Britain’s equivalent of the CIA) trying to save the world. Only in this movie, Kingsman is a group of men (and women) with code names out of Arthurian legend, suits of armor and their own version of a sword. Even the villain is a sort of evil sorcerer, putting a spell over the rest of the world. Kingsman does not answer to any government, it only assists them.

I occasionally write about movies and how they fall in the cultural spectrum. Kingsman is massively violent, momentarily raunchy and entirely secular. It’s not a Christian movie, but it is on the right side politically. The villains plan to solve anthropogenic global warming by removing the anthropogeny, i.e. the human population. The heroes were funded by past captains of industry and stress teamwork and personal improvement. There’s even a dig at the downside of free internet that people seem to think came from the FCC last week.

Some liberals have caught on to the subversiveness of this movie. Jason Ward from The Guardian immediately equates conservative views (anti-environmentalism) with sexism and violence. Most of the examples seem to be of Bond films that Kingsman pays homage to, but does not replicate. The sexism in the movie is a matter of degree and doesn’t really exceed any other movie at the theater. Ward was bothered by the scene between the protagonist, Eggsy and a Danish princess. Far worse for me was the seduction scene between Roger Moore and Grace Jones in the Bond film “A View To a Kill” from 30 years ago.

Another complaint is of a scene where a large group of people violently kill each other. Exactly the same plot occurred in ABC’s Agent Carter, but just not shown, only a few weeks ago. It also highlights a harsh reality. If global warming dogma is to be believed, the only way to stop it is to drastically end civilization as we know it by either bringing us back to a level of technology where death was common or killing a whole lot of people so that the rest can live like the First World.

One of my favorite parts of Kingsman is that it takes aim at classism. Liberalism often admonishes society for not propping up those who had rough starts, as if the poor are somehow incapable of self-improvement. The message of Kingsman is to be your best self and not compare yourself to others. Much like Al Gore or Robert Kennedy, who preach reducing the carbon footprint while flying in jets, the elite in Kingsman are protected from the coming apocalypse.

The rest of my review will be in the comments section which will contain massive spoilers. Click here to skip that if you want to comment unspoiled.


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Will This Be Another Upset?

March 7, 2015
1 Comment

I think it’s safe to say that conventional wisdom pits Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush in 2016. Given current realities, this is a volatile pairing. Clinton is entrenched in a non-Obama scandal and Bush is disliked by most of the ideological base of his party. Other Democratic contenders include Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, which gives you an idea of how moribund that party’s back bench is.

In 2008, the contest was supposedly going to be between Rudolph Giuliani and Hillary Clinton for president. That was an upset year. Rudy did badly in primaries and Hillary had so many opponents, they eventually started dropping out and putting their support toward her only credible challenger, Barack Obama. Republicans went for John McCain for similar reasons, when Mitt Romney ran a scorched-earth campaign against his primary rivals.

For my money, the Republicans seem to do well when they defy expectations. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was a two-time loser going up against the return of Gerald Ford to the political scene. In 2000, George W. Bush came out of nowhere to upset John McCain. Democrats have this advantage as well. Bill Clinton was a virtual nobody in 1992, running in a year where many Democrats sat out, thinking Bush “41” couldn’t lose.

Id’ be interested in seeing Scott Walker vs. anyone, maybe Liz Warren. We’d actually have a contest of ideas, when the media isn’t assassinating Walker’s character.


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